Leeds University Student Roseline Akhalu suffers from acute kidney disease and risks death from not being able to buy expensive medication if the British government is successful in deporting her to her native Nigeria, where there is no socialised medicine provided by the state. Roseline, who lives in Headingley, came to Leeds from her native Nigeria on a student VISA in 2004 to do a Masters Degree. In 2005 she unexpectedly developed end-stage renal failure and remained on dialysis until receiving a kidney transplant at St. James Hospital in 2009. Roseline’s illness means she needs to take immunosupressant drugs for the rest of her life. She is a widow and has no family to support her. If deported to Nigeria she would not have access to such drugs, as only the well-off can afford them. Roseline’s renal specialist Dr James Tattershall has confirmed that her life depends on access to these drugs, which is not possible for the majority of people in Nigeria. “Deportation will be a death sentence,” he said.
Roseline applied for leave to remain in the UK but her request was declined. She reported herself to the local immigration centre on 29 Sunday 2012, was detained without warning and sent to Yarl’s Wood detention centre, the same institution where Jamaican-born Leeds woman Coletane Lopez was detained prior to her recent court victory and the Free Coletane Lopez Appeal. Roseline was served with “removal directions” for Lagos, Nigeria. Her solicitors took out an emergency injunction which led to her being released pending a judicial review scheduled for 24 July 2012, which will decide whether or not she can remain in the country, a life-and-death decision.
An online campaign and petition have been launched by Roseline’s supporters to fight for her right to remain in the United Kingdom where she can access life-saving healthcare thanks to the National Health Service. The campaign has secured the celebrity backing of British actor Colin Firth in an attempt to raise awareness and support. If the campaign to stop Roseline’s deportation gains the same kind of public backing that the Free Coletane Lopez case won, it is entirely possible that Rosaline could win the right to stay, but she needs the support of as many people and as many media sources as possible in order to secure this – in order to save her life.
You can sign the petition to the Home Office and the UK Border Agency at the link below:
The Socialist Party supports the right of individuals and families to live safely and freely in whichever part of the world they choose to live, and to have their human rights respected wherever they come from. We are opposed to the state arresting, detaining or deporting individuals on the basis of their national origin. We maintain that human beings have the right to make a life for themselves anywhere they choose. No one should be forced to go to a country where they fear their life will be in danger because they cannot access life-saving medical care. The right to life is not something that should ever be taken away by anyone, including the state.
Immigration is often blamed by the right wing for a whole host of social and economic issues which are in fact the fault of the capitalist system which exploits everyone on the planet and divides people along lines of nationality and ethnicicity. It suits the ruling class to divide workers along these lines, makes it easier for them to exploit us and keep us alienated. Whilst we are fighting each other, we aren’t fighting our real enemy, the capitalist state.
The Socialist Party’s sister organisation in Nigeria, Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI), fights for the rights of working people and poor farmers to access healthcare, education and employment, just as the Socialist Party here in Britain fights against government attacks on the National Health Service, education, jobs and public services. As part of the Committee for a Workers’ International, the Socialist Party fights for a socialist world without borders, and we welcome every worker of whatever race, sexuality or gender to engage in the struggle against the global capitalist system that denies our human rights and enslaves us all.